This is my sixth year in DC, and this is my sixth “fancy” birthday cake challenge. This year Miles wanted an Overwatch birthday cake. Overwatch is a video game. Most of his cakes revolve around a video game. It started with Sonic, then Minecraft, Pokémon, a Zelda Hylian Shield, Monster Hunter Felyne, and now Overwatch. Compared to the other cakes, this one was a blessing because I only had to work with a layer cake shape, and not a sphere, or other hard to wrap in fondant shaped cake. But!You can never assume that working with fondant will be easy.For me, some of the simplest cakes can be the most difficult. They show all your mistakes.
His flavor of choice was our family Ruth cake recipe with chocolate frosting. Ruth cake is a pound cake made with cream cheese and margarine, and is the most temperamental cake I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the most delicious. My mom (not the cakes’ namesake) makes the cake often, and over the years has perfected it. I’m still trying, but I get pretty lucky sometimes. I kept my fingers crossed trying to turn a pound cake into a layer cake. I was pretty successful. I made two recipes, and at least three of the layers turned out well. The cake wasn’t as light as the tube pan version, but it was still moist and delicious.I was super worried about the chocolate fudge frosting being too sweet (I even put less sugar in the frosting), but it wasn’t! It was really good. Miles loved it, which is all that mattered. Every year, I say that I need to make shaped cakes more often for practice. Maybe this year I will.
"Ruth" cake with chocolate fudge frosting
for the cake
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 pound margarine
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups sifted cake flour
- 3 tsp vanilla
- Tube or bundt pan
for the chocolate fudge frosting
- 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cups cocoa powder
- ½ (1 stick) butter, (cut in half, and softened)
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup half and half
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, (chopped)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
make the cake
Butter and flour the tube pan. Cream together margarine, cheese and sugar until fluffy. Alternated adding the flour with the eggs.
Start with one cup of flour, 2 eggs, ½ cup flour, 2 eggs, ½ cup of flour, 2 eggs plus vanilla, then remaining 1 cup of flour. Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated, beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Spoon batter into the pan and place the pan into a cold oven. Bake at 350°F for approximately 90 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
make the chocolate fudge frosting
Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Heat 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, salt, and ½ cup half and half in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan, 4 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Slice remaining butter into 4 pieces and stir in with the remaining half and half. Add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla and stir until smooth. Slowly whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa until incorporated. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes until the frosting reaches the desired spreading consistency.